20 Dec, 2023 @ 12:23
1 min read

This centuries’ old Christmas market in Spain is among the best in EUROPE this year – according to Elle magazine

ELLE magazine has named this Christmas market in Spain among the best in Europe. 

The ‘mercado’ is the oldest in the country, with over 200 years of history dating back to 1786. 

The Santa Llucia market, located in front of Barcelona’s gothic cathedral, has been called a ‘must visit’ for any Christmas lovers in Spain. 

Perfect for a weekend getaway, visitors can wander through the labyrinthine streets of the Gothic quarter to arrive at El Pla de la Seu y la Avenida de la Catedral. 

There, some 200 vendors sell traditional gifts, sweets and decorations accompanied by festive tunes. 

The stalls are divided into four distinct sections: nativities, artisan gifts, greenery (wreathes, trees and other adornments) and music boxes. 

Photo: firasantalluciabcn/Instagram

Don’t be shocked if you see many figurines of traditional Catalonian men, celebrities and public figures going to the toilet. 

These figures, known as ‘Caganers’ are a local tradition placed in nativity scenes since the 18th century. 

Although their true origin is unclear, some believe the defecating figure is there to symbolically ‘fertilise’ the ground of the nativity so it will be green in the next year. 

The market is also home to some 15 illuminated Christmas trees, nativity displays and a performance space for dances and parades.  

If you fancy trying your hand at a local festive craft, there are also workshops you can get involved in. 

Described as ‘a very cute, very Spanish market’, Elle assures it is ‘one of the best in Europe’. 

Open between 10:00am and 21:00pm, it is advised to visit the market in the day before exploring nearby areas or enjoying a typical winter treat like churros con chocolate.


Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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